Bioindicators for the evaluation of farming, health and product quality of fish in different aquaculture systems

Contact: Prof. Dr. Tom Goldammer

Duration: 2020-2022

Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

Optimal farming conditions, healthy animals and innovative resources are prerequisites for sustainable aquaculture of animal organisms, the production of quality products and profitable sales. However, although fish grow up successfully in aquaculture from a human point of view, the knowledge of animal welfare itself is rudimentary and as a consequence, production efficiency is reduced. With integrated monitoring systems, stress, health and animal welfare of aquatic organisms can be measured at different stages of production from hatching to reaching the harvest weight of the animals, husbandry conditions and aquaculture facilities can be certified and thus fish production methods up to the slaughter process can be optimized. Within the project, the development of integrated testing and monitoring mechanisms for fish welfare for the juvenile life stages of salmonids is planned. For this purpose, a comprehensive monitoring of the husbandry conditions with physicochemical and image sensors (including water parameters, activity patterns, health status) will be carried out. This also includes the detection of bacteria and parasites. Big-data-analyses of the monitoring data are performed with AI-algorithms. The comprehensive sensory analysis allows early assessment and even prediction of animal welfare in real time. The project focuses on the detection and reduction of negative influences in aquafarming, especially juvenile developmental stages and the influence of microbiological parameters on the health of aquaculture organisms and with microalgae as innovative probiotic feed. In addition, the product quality as food for humans is tested. In close cooperation with the sister project SensoFiA, which focuses on the development of cell culture lines and a biochip-based stress measurement methodology, this project will make a valuable contribution to more animal welfare in aquaculture.